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Video: Skydiving Accident Ends Chicago Baseball Player's Season

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jul 24, 2013 4:15PM

A skydiving stunt gone wrong has left a college baseball player sitting on the sidelines for the remainder of his summer league season. Hannibal Cavemen shortstop Mattingly Romanin (and with a first name like Mattingly how could he not be a baseball player) was ruled out for the remainder of the season after he suffered a concussion during a pregame ceremony where three skydivers were supposed to land on the field.

One skydiver came into the field hard and fast in the vicinity of Romanin, second baseman Jake Mangler and third baseman Jerod Smith. Mangler and Smith managed to get out of the way but the skydiver plowed right into Romanin.

Romanin, who also plays college ball at Chicago State University, told the Quincy Herald-Whig, "Before they jumped, they had one of their crew members come out and tell us, 'If they're coming right for you, and it looks like they're going to hit you, don't move. They'll avoid you,'" said Romanin. So that's my excuse for not getting out of the way.

"This guy is coming in, and I'm like, 'He's getting pretty close,’” Romanin added “Then he spreads his legs like he's just going to try to scare us and fly over us, and all of a sudden, I'm like, 'OK, he's really close.' So I tried to duck to give him a little more room to work with, and then I just realized, 'I'm done.'"

Mattingly is done in ways he never suspected The decision to shut down Romanin for the season came after a doctor who evaluated him spoke with his Chicago State coach, Steve Joslyn. Romanin suffered a concussion in the spring while playing with his college team. Romanin told the Herald-Whig his health is a priority now.

"It is unfortunate that it ended my season, and I'm a little upset about that, but you know what, it's just a freak accident and there's nothing we can do now. So I'm still trying to be upbeat it, and I'm still laughing with everybody."